Some Icebergs Easy to Avoid
Bose Pacia presents a group show entitled Some Icebergs Easy to Avoid .
Some Icebergs Easy to Avoid includes recent works by Shobha Broota, Santana Gohain, Alexis Kersey, Kirann Telkar, Jayanta Roy, and Thukral & Tagra. The exhibition navigates the often dicey terrain of the phenomenology of art-making in general and painting specifically. In a 2006 essay on the topic Peter Nagy has noted:
A phenomenon is defined as an occurrence that appears or is perceived. Phenomenology is the study of such appearances, the science of understanding perception. Yet science itself implies an empirical premise: that which is based on observation or experiment, not purely theoretical. So what one has then is the observation of observations, a double-helix of the chicken/egg conundrum, a tree falling in the forest just so that it can make a sound.
Each of the artists explores the modes and incarnations of painting practices in the 20th and 21st centuries. Shobha Broota and Santana Gohain each employ a strong understanding of abstractionist principles within their work. Gohain's paintings are at first stark and monochromatic. Upon closer inspection, however, they are intensely detailed with multiple layers of media and riddled with lines of an intriguing pseudo-text. Broota takes the notion of abstraction into a more sparse and ephemeral realm of atmospheric mark-making and the utilization of non-traditional materials with the necessary painterly tactility.
Alexis Kersey's works are at once both painting and sculpture. By combining two of his established techniques, painting on canvas and inlayed wood "paintings", Kersey creates an object that holds solid ground within the interstitial space between two-dimensional and three-dimensional forms. Thukral & Tagra's Artificial Strawberry Flavor takes us one step further into the territory of dimensionality in painting. This sculpture/painting work utilizes re-fabricated commercial objects as the ground for painting miniature photorealistic portraits of Sardaji boys in Delhi.
In a similar way to Thukral & Tagra's usage of commercial objects, Kirann Telkar's paintings depict phantasmagorically transformed soda bottles. The work takes on the question of consumerism through the lens of a surrealist approach to semi-representational painting. And to take this question of the phenomenology of painting in contemporary art to an end we have Jayanta Roy. Roy's work puts forward a mixed media tromp l'oeil collage of newsprint.